Hip Flexor Exercise with Elastic
There are three major muscles that comprise the hip flexors. They are the Rectus Femoris, Sartorius and Iliopsoas (which is actually two muscles). These muscle work together to help the hip to flex and stabilize the lower body. Hip flexor injuries are common in athletes, especially those who participate in sports like running and soccer that demand explosive movements.
Weak lower abdominal muscles and tight ligaments also can contribute to hip muscle injuries. After seeing a doctor to assess the pain, a number of exercises can help rehabilitate the muscles.
Supine Hip Flexor with Band
This video exercise is designed to help relieve that built up of stress and tension in your hips and thighs while sitting for long periods of time. Trainers should use this movement as a rehabilitation exercise for the hip.
How to …
Lie supine on floor with knee flexed to 90 degrees. Place the handle of a light tube over the toe of your shoe while your foot is in dorsiflexion.
Once the handle is secured drop the leg down to the ground and straighten the knee. Wrap the remainder of the tube under your other foot and grab the other handle with your hand on the same side.
Engage the core, make sure the spine is in full contact with the mat (Do not arch your back). The toes of both shoes should be pointing straight up to the ceiling.
Flex the knee and hip, on the leg with the handle around the toe, until you reach 90 degrees hold for 5 seconds. Return to the starting position. When you have developed sufficient strength in the hip flexor start to bring the knee closer into the chest.
Start this exercise with 5 repetitions using the 5 second hold. Wait and see how you feel the next day. Add on another repetition or two if you do not feel any soreness. Once you can do 12 repetitions then start to add another set.
Hip Flexor Stretch Exercise
This exercise is designed to help relieve built up stress and tension in your hips and thighs. Personal Trainers use this movement as a rehabilitation exercise for the hip. It is demonstrated here in a functional weight-bearing position in order to stimulate the hip flexor muscles while activating the core to stabilize the body throughout the movement.
How to …
Use a chair for stability and to help create a deeper stretch.
Turn the chair sideways and straddle the seat, sitting on the butt cheek that is closest to the seat. Bend the front knee at a 90 degree angle. The other leg will also be at a 90 degree angle however on the leg that is off of the chair should be behind you. On both legs you want the hip, knee and ankle to be lined up in a row.
The distribution of weight should all be maintained in the front leg while doing this stretch. Slide the back leg further back once you are comfortably seated. Squeeze the buttock on the back leg and thrust the pelvis forward (imagine you are trying to pour water out in behind). Perform two to three repetitions then change directions and repeat on the other hip.
André Noël Potvin, MSc, CES, CSCS, TFL, is a Clinical Exercise Specialist and Owner of Infofit, North America’s Premier School for Fitness Professionals